Library Impact Stories
Libraries have the power to change lives. Following are stories of real Highland City Library patrons and how the Library has impacted their lives.
- The McClellan Family
- The Fleming Family
- The Hunt Family
- Julie Muelleck
- the buchanan family
- The Kitchen family
- The Holt family
- Book Project
- The Wadsworth Family
- The Bushman Family
- The Rees Family
- Jenifer and Sarah
- The Johnson Family
- The Murdock Family
- The Craig Family
- Lowell Nelson
- Diana Elder
- Jacqueline Roettger
The McClellan Family, Library Patrons of the Year from Alpine
Memories are made at libraries. Samantha McClellan remembers going to the library as a child with her mother. Her mother would pick an aisle, sit down, and finger through the books in front of her. When she found one that interested her, she would take it out, flip through the pages, and put it in her bag to take home. Samantha recalls bags full of books that they read together.
The family of Jeffrey and Samantha McClellan, who moved to Alpine about six years ago, will have similar happy memories of libraries as they grow up. The children—Anita (13), Shayon (12), Olivia (11), Kamran (9), Enloe (6), and Christian (3)—will be happy to show their new baby around. Their family visits almost weekly. The summer reading program is a highlight for all the children every year. The younger children love Story Time. They remember the books, the music, and the crafts.
Over the years the family has read many, many books. They have books they love and can recommend to others. Here are some of their favorites: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, ALL Cassandra Clare book series, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim, Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan, Wings of Fire graphic novel by Tui T. Sutherland, Narwhal and Jelly books, Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges, the Villains series by Serena Valentino, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Warriors by Erin Hunter, Stone Soup by Marcia Brown, The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers (ALL Oliver Jeffers books), Greek Mythology books, Amber and Clay by Laura Amy Schlitz, Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, Beauty and the Beast by Mahlon F. Craft, The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glasser, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.
The McClellan children will remember more than just books when they think of their library experience. They will think of the kindness of the staff. One experience is special to them. Enloe (age 6) was looking for the hidden leprechaun but couldn’t find him. He wanted a hint from the librarian but was too shy to ask. Samantha kept helping him practice asking, and she let the librarian know he was nervous. When Enloe finally was able to ask, the librarian encouraged him, took time with him, gave him a hint, and told him that he was brave. And he found the leprechaun.
Three of the McClellan children are homeschooled, so the books help bring beautiful literature and art into the home. They also bring the spirit of the library. Samantha writes, “Libraries are a type of sanctuary from the world for me. I love the quietness, the cozy reading spots, the way books smell and sound. It is a place of comfort and familiarity.” It is a place to make memories.
Highland City Library Family of the Year
Davis Fleming, one-month-old son of Vindie and Lincoln Fleming, has already held his first library book, and it is very likely he will become an avid reader just like his siblings, Livvy (14), Jude (12), Reese (10), Wes (8), Jackson (6), and Sterling (3). He will discover that about once a week his family spends some time at the library, attending story time, participating in crafts, and checking out books. He’ll be able to watch them counting up their books for the summer reading challenge and receiving prizes as they meet their goals.
In the future when Davis needs help finding a book, he’ll have plenty of help finding a good one. Sterling will point him to the Llama Llama books. Jackson will recommend Another Brother by Matthew Cordell. Jude, Reese, and Wes especially like Epic Athletes books. Davis may have to wait a few years to read Livvy’s favorite, A Man Called Ove, but his family will certainly help him find many more books until he’s ready for that one.
The Fleming family has always found the Highland Library a very friendly place to be. Once when they were picking out books, one of the librarians knew that Jackson loved Star Wars books and gave him a book that was too damaged for the library to keep. He was thrilled, and his mom was delighted to see that the librarian had noticed his preference.
The Flemings enjoy doing many things together, playing games, playing sports, paddle-boarding in the summer, and sledding in the winter. Reading is their favorite year-round activity, though. They started the habit of coming to the library often when their oldest daughter was a baby. Vindie and Lincoln feel that it has helped the kids develop a love of reading at an early age.
When the Flemings return from a library trip, they lay out all of the books in the living room and spend the next few hours reading and enjoying the new books. Davis will soon see the books spread out on the rug and find it’s like a magic carpet, taking him to visit many places. He may be tempted to chew on a few, but this family will engage him in reading early, and he’ll soon be turning the pages himself.
The Highland City Library loves families like the Flemings. The storyteller says, “I love seeing them at story time! The boys are super sweet and respectful and always take interest in the craft.” The library director appreciates them, too: “They are here so often and are so pleasant they feel like friends instead of just patrons.”
The Hunt Family
Library Patrons of the Year from Cedar Hills
Lily Hunt was just a toddler when her family first stepped inside the Highland City Library. In the years since Rachel and Charlie Hunt bought their first home in Cedar Hills, they have made many, many visits with their three children, Lily, 13; Ethan, 11; and Sadie, 7. Over the years members of the family have participated in just about every program the library has had. They love Story Time, Lego Club, Junior Explorers’ Club, and the summer and winter reading programs. Sadie especially likes searching for the elf and the leprechaun (and getting a prize when she finds them). Ethan just loves all the books. Lily is a fan of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series and was always so happy when the next book came out. During the summer, the Hunts are often at the library every week so the kids can get new books and collect their prizes. They have checked out over 4600 items over the years.
As a mom, Rachel appreciates the kindness of the librarians, who learn the kids’ names and greet them on a first name basis. The librarians really enjoy the family, too. Devin commented, “The Hunts are super friendly and have come to so many programs over the years!” Calli added, “They come frequently and are always very polite.” Before leaving, the children always gather up a big stack of books to place in their library basket at home. One of the biggest changes the family has enjoyed is that the library changed the number of items that could be checked out from thirty to one hundred at a time. That gives everyone plenty of choices!
Rachel has always been a reader. She was one of the kids who read the entire new Harry Potter book in a day. She and Charlie have tried to instill the love of books in each of their kids. They always have a family book they are reading. Some favorites have been Little House on the Prairie, Artemis Fowl, The Boys Start the War, The Haymeadow, and Anne of Green Gables. The kids have personal reading time every day, and Mom still reads to the younger two every night.
Charlie laughs that Rachel has a book problem. She says, “I really do love collecting books and growing my own personal library at home, but there is something magical about going to the library and having so many different books at your fingertips. We love the Highland Library!” And the Highland City Library loves the magic the and enthusiasm the Hunt family brings with them each time they come to refill their basket of books.